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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #16-0030 ([Pioneer Tank Lines, Inc] [Mr. Larry Nielsen])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Pioneer Tank Lines, Inc

Individual Name: Mr. Larry Nielsen

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 6, 2016

Mr. Larry Nielsen
Safety and Compliance Manager
Pioneer Tank Lines, Inc.
12501 Hudson Road South
Afton, MN  55001

Reference No. 16-0030

Dear Mr. Nielsen:

This letter is in response to your February 12, 2016, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transport of a package in service beyond its requalification date.  Specifically, you ask if a motor carrier is culpable for violations of the HMR if it transports an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) that was refilled and offered for transportation beyond its requalification date and if the motor carrier can rely on the shipper’s certification on the shipping paper to determine whether an IBC was filled prior to its requalification date.
An IBC that is filled before its requalification becomes due may remain in service until it is emptied and may be transported in commerce by highway, rail, aircraft, or vessel provided all applicable HMR requirements are met (see § 173.35(a)).  Section 172.204 requires the shipper to certify on the shipping paper that the materials are properly classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled, and in proper condition for transportation.  However, § 171.2(f) provides that a carrier who transports a hazardous material in commerce may rely on information provided by the offeror of the hazardous material or a prior carrier, unless the carrier knows or, a reasonable person, acting in the circumstances and exercising reasonable care, would have knowledge that the information provided by the offeror or prior carrier is incorrect.  As such, the motor carrier cannot rely on the shipper’s certification on the shipping paper and may be culpable for violation if the motor carrier knows or should have reason to believe that the information provided is incorrect.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
173.35(a), 172.204, 171.2(f)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.2 General requirements
172.204 Shipper's certification
173.35 Hazardous materials in IBCs